Drinks to live by this summer

November 26, 2020
By Melissa Parker

The weather is warming up, the borders are opening, and we are getting ready for summer. Here’s what’s hot for the holiday season.

Pink spirits

Rosé is the Midas touch of 2020; when added to a white spirit it’s a solid gold hit. Pink spirit has emerged as a burgeoning trend among Millennials linked to the Rosé revolution and a thriving cocktail culture. Tapping into this pink drink trend, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) launched Squealing Pig Rosé Gin last year to great acclaim, and now we can add SVEDKA Rosé Vodka to the pink spirit repertoire. With the added bonus of lighter alcohol, at 30 per cent SVEDKA Rosé Vodka poured over ice with a splash of soda is the ultimate summer party pink drink.

Svedka Rose Vodka

Rye Vodka

On the back of the gin wave, vodka is experiencing a renaissance of its own. Local Brisbane-based vodka distiller, Idle Hour, has joined the movement and produces an Australian rye vodka that challenges the perception vodka is a tasteless spirit. Idle Hour encourages us to appreciate pure vodka for its character and flavour.

“Our unique flavour profile, locally sourced ingredients and Australian chutzpah are what positions Idle Hour as a frontrunner in the global resurgence of vodka, putting Australian vodka on the map and innovating the status quo,” said Ewen Pettit, Idle Hour Co-Founder. 

 Less local , more global, Belvedere have also just launched Belvedere Heritage 176, made using the centuries-old technique of malting to release rye’s extraordinary potential to impart rich taste and character. 

 President & CEO of Belvedere Vodka, Rodney Williams, said: “Rye can impart unexpected, authentic and nuanced taste. In 2018, our release of two different Single Estate Rye vodkas based on the same strain of rye demonstrated that terroir plays a significant role in shaping rye flavours.”

Williams continued, “Now with Heritage 176, we are continuing to display rye’s enormous potential for rich and bold flavours, this time by malting rye to bring out its depth of flavour. Heritage 176 is a new sipping vodka based on old production technique.” 

Belvedere malted rye vodka

Gin still in

Yes, the world is still having a love affair with the juniper berry. Whether it is craft local or international blockbuster brand innovation, gin is still in. Local Australian gin distilleries are hitting the big time both at home and overseas.

Anther Distilling in Geelong has opened to the public with a new distillery cellar door and tasting room, while our very own home-grown gin sensation, Four Pillars, landed the Gin Producer of the Year Award at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London for the second year in a row. Consumers can also get a taste of Four Pillars this summer at its pop up gin shops in Melbourne and Sydney CBDs.

Other gins celebrating summer in style include Hendrick’s Gin that is playing host to the ultimate COVID-safe cocktail in the clouds, the Hendrick’s Gin Most Unusual Balloon Bar periodically taking flight at an elevation that is the equivalent of 170 cucumbers. That’s the gin spirit.

Hendricks Hot Air Balloon

Summer Spritz

The orange glow of the Aperol Spritz is everywhere summer after summer and holds a special place on Instagram. We still love you Aperol, but the fizzy drink positively begs to be experimented with for an altogether unique take on the ultimate Summer Spritz.  The tangy deliciousness of Pampelle, the world’s first ruby red grapefruit liqueur for example, makes for the perfectly pink Instagrammble Pampelle Spritz.

Pampelle Spritz

For something completely unique the locally crafted Moreau Apple Pie Liqueur made with Victorian-grown apples, and spices not only won the Champion Liqueur Trophy at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards but with lashings of ice makes the most delicious Christmas Spritz.

Moreau Applie Pie

Award-winning Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin and Original Vodka have also jumped on the Spritz train with fancy and fresh summer Spritzes in a can ready to go.  Created by Creative Drinks Manager, Rachelle “Rocky” Hair, one of Australia’s most acclaimed international bartenders the Archie Rose Gin Blackberry Spritz with Lemon Myrtle & Juniper or the Vodka Mango Spritz with Lime & Chilli are destined for Christmas season greatness.

Summer beers

What satisfies a thirst on a hot summer’s day better than an ice-cold beer? Aussie breweries are taking on summer styles with gusto such as Brick Lane Brewing’s limited-edition sour style Birds of a Feather range. Think thirst-quenching freshness with three bright tropical flavour combinations to choose from including Passionfruit and Guava, Mango and Lychee, and Lime and Pineapple.

Coopers Brewery is also tapping into the surf and sun vibes with its just in time for summer Pacific Pale Ale.  It’s the South Australian family-owned brewery’s existing Session Ale renamed with new branded cans. The new-look is a deliberate move on behalf of Coopers to distinguish this perfect summer-style beer with its tropical fruit flavour profile and golden straw colour from the rest. Pacific Pale Ale is all about style, refreshment, flavour. It really is the perfect sessional seasonal beer.

Eco friendly

More and more consumers are seeking out wines that have a positive impact on the environment. Ethical consumerism has moved from the fringes to the mainstream. Research states almost 50 per cent of consumers deliberately switch to a brand* that is more sustainable while another 35 per cent go for enviro-friendly packaging.** Round Theory, the new wine range from Constellation Brands not only boasts great enviro credentials and a low carbon footprint, it is also vegan and comes in a bottle that is uniquely 35 per cent shorter and 30 per cent lighter than the standard wine bottle.

Richard Brown from Constellation Brands says the ‘betterment’ trend  (better for you and better for the environment) is a growing area. “It has always been there but the current climate has accelerated that trend and increased demand,” Brown says.

Round Theory Wines

Better for you

It’s known as mindful drinking or considered consumption and it’s coming to a bar near you. Global consumer patterns show a shift to low or no alcohol drinks. A recent study has revealed almost half consumers stated that moderating alcohol consumption benefits their health and mental wellbeing.*** The challenge is finding the low or no alcohol products that deliver on taste.

We found two new release doing just that. Brown Brothers Refreshingly Light and Constellation Brands State of Light are both low alcohol ranges include Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé while Brown Brothers Refreshingly Light also offers a delightful Prosecco. Go ahead and enjoy that second glass this summer.


* Colmar Brunton – Better Futures Presentation (2020)

** Mintel – People First Then Planet: Sustainability post-COVID-19 (July 2020

***Mintel – Alcoholic Beverage Drinking Occasions (2019)

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